(I'm very sorry for the length of the post, but I am a newbie when it coms to tanks and I am having persistant problems that I could really use some advice on.)
Last year I decided to try my hand at keeping a freshwater aquarium. I went to the local pet store and picked up a nice ten gallon tank starter kit and came home to set it up, putting my two cichlids into the tank 3-4 days later. This tank did not have any live plants, although when it came to test kits, chemicals and so on, I ended up getting everything that was suggested to me at the pet store. I used "start right" and "cycle" according to the instructions. When the tank began to cloud I assumed it was a ntaural part of the cycle and kept up with partial water changes hoping it would run its course. After a wile the clouding turned green and stayed persistant. I put the fish in a temporary tank and decided to try cleaning the entire aquarium out.
After cleaning it, I thought that my mistake may have been using tap water, so this time I used filtered water. Once again, it clouded over and once again it turned green. I gave it some time, hoping it would clear and it did! After my tank remaining clean and beautiful for a number of months, I thought the problem was behind me and decided to get a larger tank to give my current fish more space and allow me to get others.
I purchased a 29 gallon tank and stand and set it up in a similar way. Again, the water clouded and turned green...I thought that since it had cleared last time, it might clear up again...but it persisted. I kept up with partial water changes (changing maybe 1/3 of the water when I cleaned the gravel every week or so). When the green got darker I began seeing little squigly looking lines against the glass on the inside of my tank. At first I thought they were cat hair(I do have a cat), but as I watched them, they moved! To be sure I wasn't fooling myself, next time I did a water change I watched the ones that were on the glass above the water line. They were crawling! Needless to say, I was absolutely disgusted.
I immediately removed all of my fish from the tank and decided to take drastic measures to get rid of those worms (They couldn't possibly be good, could they?
). With my fish safely in another tank, I added some bleach hoping to kill the worms, and watched as they all sort of shriveled away as the water went from green to white/tan. I removed the water from the tank and scrubbed it down with paper towels before thoroughly rinsing it, the pump, and all decoartions several times. I filled it back up with bottled drinking water (like you buy by the gallon at wal mart) and went to the pet store where I picked up an undergravel filter, live plants, and a new pump/filter for the back of the tank, determined to prevent this problem again.
The new main pump/filter is an aquaclear, and it's got activated carbon and amonia remover. I left the tank for a few days, checked the water with my tests strips multiples times, and after everything coming up safe four tests in a row, I put my fish back in. The tank remained clear and beautiful for weeks, but at the beginning of this month it started to cloud over green again. My fish have become very lethargic (I would be too if I had to put up with that).
After describing the clouding to the people at the pet store, they suggested a few different products to treat algae blooms.
-Tetra Alage Cotrol drops
-API Algaefix drops
-API Accu-clear drops
None of these have made any improvements in the tank...
Some other products I've used include:
SuperBac Aquarium Nitrifying Bacteria
and the food I've been using is TetraMin Tropical Flakes
As if the persistant green cloud isn't bad enough, today I noticed that the worms are back and a few of the live plants are starting to die! I feel so defeated and stupid. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong but so far no one has been able to tell me what exactly that might be or more importantly, how to fix it. Is the green cloud this persistant normal? What are those white, hair-like worms? What caused it to clear up in the past but not now? Do I need to remove my fish from the tank and start over doing a fishless cycle? I've read a little about it, but this is all still relatively new to me. My father has had a number of freshwater aquariums before, and he's never had problems this persistant. He's at a loss as well. If anyone could tell me what I'm doing wrong, or what I need to do to fix this, I would be immensely grateful.